Sunday, September 29, 2013

9/29/13 District conference and other awesome stuff

Hey! Thanks for the mail as always! Conference won't be until the weekend after next for me. What do you mean about Priesthood being live streamed? Is it not always like that? Mara looks pretty good! Starting to look like Lauren a lot I think :) Sounds like that date was pretty fun though! Glad Hunter is doing well in football again. Also I bet Granger is huge!

The district is Me and Morgan E and then 6 missionaries in Kushiro. Inoue E and Yoshikawa E (his bean on his 2nd transfer), Miyaki E and French E, then Sugihara S (half Japanese, but raised in America) and Baker S. They are all way awesome. It's crazy though that I'm the oldest (missionary wise) out of everybody. I have to be a big example and stuff. Not to mention prepare all the DTMs/go on splits with everyone, but it'll be way cool. Me and Morgan E get along great, but I think we are pretty different. I think partially he is still getting adjusted to Japan and stuff.

So for this week last P-day was a lot of fixing my bike and going shopping for stuff with Morgan E. Also we had FHE at the Ozawa's and it was way fun. They had Morgan E do the lesson and it was a bit tough for him so I helped him, but it went great. We played some fun games and had a great time. I had to call lots of missionaries on the phone, copy music, etc in order to get ready for the mini music fireside after the district conference on Sunday. Tuesday I had my first DTM and I feel like it went really well. Of course there are still lots of ways to improve, but I definitely was able to take up all the time with no problem. We met Hayasaka who is an investigator who has a hair salon and lived in Europe for a while. She is super nice and really interested in us, but not so much the gospel quite yet. Because of that we do our best to get the gospel into regular conversations with her. This time around we ended up teaching her half the plan of salvation so hopefully it sticks! We have committed her to pray as well so we'll keep doing our best w/her. We ran around to some appointments and ended up doing a bit of finding. I also introduced Morgan E to Tatsuya since we were nearby and he is doing great still. We taught a lesson to Abe and his wife (plan of salvation) and it went pretty good. Abe still has a lot of doubts especially about his own ability to believe, but we encouraged and praised him a lot and I think it is starting to make a change in him. We also swung by Van's company to give her juice that we bought to help her keep the word of wisdom.

Wednesday was pretty great too. Until it got all typhoon-y again. But before then we were able to have a really good morning study and meet with a guy named Tominaga. It was a little tricky to get into a lesson with him, but we were able to talk about a lot of our beliefs and remind him of the stuff he had heard from missionaries in the past particularly Joseph Smith. Then it got really rainy and we were trapped in the house... we still used time to get other important things done though! Thursday was a good/longish day in the apartment with DKK. It went pretty smooth and Morgan E is great at thinking of the needs of investigators and helping to plan for them. We stopped by Okuchi S to talk to her about working together to help Van get to baptism. She actually volunteered to help us out! She has been doing WAY good lately and her testimony is ridiculously strong. We also talked about other ways she can dendo and she is bringing her friends kids w/her to Eikaiwa! The sunset was crazy pretty that day. Morgan E got some nice pics I think. All the people we wanted to visit that night were either sick or busy so we streeted around the "mall" for a while and got some good contacts. Then we went by Van's to actually give her a bicycle... haha! A member had an extra bike and she had been talking about how she wanted one so we delivered it to her. She was way happy and forced us to let her buy us food at a convenience store. We stopped on the side of the road to follow up on her reading etc. and she has been reading consistently everyday. She basically bore her testimony about how her life has gotten so much better since she started reading and coming to church. She still has somethings she didn't understand about the priesthood and Joseph Smith, but we were able to address those concerns for the most part. She prayed in Japanese for the first time and it was really good.

Friday we tried finding in a different part of town and it went alright. We were able to teach some decent doorway lessons too. We got ready for and taught Eikaiwa which was awesome as usual. Did however find out that one of our really good students is moving to Tokyo which was sad, but he wants to keep going to Eikaiwa there as well! Also I found out the Pres. Andrus (who went to America because his dad died) fainted and got life flighted to the emergency room! He is at university hospital and apparently in way bad shape. I have been praying for him lots. Saturday morning we got a call from Hayasaka because she needed help building a chest of drawers. We helped her out and were actually able to get a better lesson in and pass her the Book of Mormon. She seemed pretty excited about trying it out. We also met this lady again named Minato who Andersen E and I found. She let us in and gave us this really good peach flavored water and we taught her a short lesson. Her family was there and all of a sudden a friend came over and it got all crazy so we had to end the lesson short, but we gave her a pamphlet and she said to come again anytime! We had some really good finding then as well. We followed up with a few other investigators Itou and Itakura and then went to teach Nakagawa. Nakazawa B teamed up and it went pretty well. He is kinda old and forgot parts of the first lesson, but we reviewed them and then taught L2 plan of salvation. He really wants to be purified by baptism and go to the celestial kingdom! When Nakazawa B was bearing his testimony about how baptism changed him he brought up the word of wisdom which we didn't plan on teaching right off. Nakagawa was a bit surprised, but we explained it to him pretty well. It seems like he won't have a problem with anything besides coffee. He seems to like it a lot. We'll have to work with him lots to help him overcome it! Otherwise he seems pretty resolute on doing his best. We had some decent phone dendo that night and when we ran out we decided to street around the house for a while.

Sunday was awesome. Woke up early to meet Van and go to the church to ride in the branch pres's car to Kushiro! In the car I was able to follow up a lot/teach her all the remaining commandments/lessons. It doesn't seem like anything will be a problem! She is starting to get more sure about wanting to be baptized and she has even talked to her parents/family about it and they are so happy about how much happier she:s become. She said they want me to go to Vietnam to meet them. District conference itself was WAY awesome! Almost everyone had been fasting or praying for Andrus Kaicho to get well. It was super great to see everybody again and also to hear all the awesome talks! Okuchi S gave a WAY awesome testimony and blew pretty much everyone away. The other talks were a youth speaker who had a big change of heart and decided to serve a mission+an awesome sister from Kushiro who is leaving to Sendai mission in 2 weeks! Then Pres. and Sister Evans spoke and Sister Evans had the coolest experience with her brother who had left the church coming back! He had gone off on a crazy path and had lots of money trouble, but her other brother decided to show him a talk about tithing. It changed his heart and he did everything he could to pay all the tithing he owed since he had gone astray. However in order to do so he had to get rebaptized. Anyways way awesome story and it focused on tithing a lot so it made it that much easier to help Van understand! Evans Kaicho's talk had a focus on tithing and also on becoming more Christlike. Afterwards we had a big picnic with everyone. A member from Obihiro (not even in the Kushiro district) who has a farm brought a TON of vegetables for everyone to take home! Literally probably a ton. We then started the music fireside and it went awesome. Van felt the spirit super strong. We headed back to Nemuro and tried to meet some investigators. One wasn't home, but her son was so we talked to him and he said he heard about us from his school teacher who is another one of our investigators! He even knew that I studied guitar and stuff...!? I feel like almost everyone in Nemuro knows me. Not only that, but another investigator invited us over to eat because there was a family she invited over that she wanted us to meet. I was all excited about getting a referral and then we arrive at her house. The family she wanted to introduce was also already an investigator!!! Hahaha way funny. It was a great opportunity to build a relationship with both of them though.

So many cool and fun/super spiritual things happen every week. I will probably be able to talk about/remember it for the rest of my life and still have stuff to talk about! It's the best though and I wish everyone could experience it.
I love you tons and hope that I can be a better son/brother/uncle for everyone.
Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, September 22, 2013

9/22/13 Somehow I knew that Morgan E's parents were going to find you hahaha!

Yeah! So it wasn't Sizilio E (referring to the bean he was supposed to train last time)! He did get to make it to Sapporo though, which is something that is really cool. I still got to meet him and tell him the whole story. When we went to meet our beans I saw him in the room and got mentally ready to not be surprised when they told me he would be my bean, but then all of the sudden I heard Evans Kaicho say my name (as Elder Morgan's trainer)! I was a little shocked at first, but I felt the spirit really strongly that Morgan E is the missionary who I need to work with for the next 2 transfers here. So not only did I become trainer, but District Leader! Also, they brought Sisters to Kushiro so the district is now 8 people. I'll get to go to Kushiro for splits quite a bit! I'm really excited though.

ANYWAYS I'll start from the beginning of the week. Last week on Monday... HUGE typhoon!!!! It started during email and we just thought it was a bit of rain and so we decided to wait and write letters until it died down so we could go shop, but it didn't! We eventually manned it out and barely made it to the apartment soaking wet. We called the assistants and told them and they said they actually heard about it too. They told us to not go outside for dendo that day. Crazy! There was a little part where it died down a bit and we went to have a birthday/bye bye party for Okuchi S since we knew one of us would transfer. She made us some Okonomiyaki (look it up) and we sang her and Yuka the song we sang at her baptism again. Super cool and she totally cried. We headed back to the apt and magically it wasn't too bad at all until we got back. We tried to do phone dendo and organize the area book. The wind and rain were so crazy, a big tree across the street fell down and the fire dept. came to clean it up!

Well, that night we got our transfer calls! Andersen E went to Hakodate as planned, and I got the trainer/DL news. That night/next day was lots of packing! We were planning on going on a 11:00 train to Kushiro, but got a call from Ozawa kaicho saying the trains weren't running because the tracks were flooded! Buses couldn't go either because the roads were bad too... We were way stumped, but then Ozawa Kaicho (he goes to Sapporo for business trips pretty often) offered to take us! We had a little bit of time, so a few members came to see Andersen E off. Then we got in the car with Ozawa K for a 9 hour ride to Sapporo! Yay!!! He had to take a bunch of mountain/back roads to get around the closed off places which took a little time. We stopped at a few cool places to rest. We also stopped in Kushiro to talk with Andrus Kaicho for a bit too.

When we drove through Chitose it was pretty late at night and I noticed an airplane coming in. First thing I thought was "airplanes! that means my bean area is coming up!" but Andersen E pointed out it was probably the beans' plane! Turns out it was, hahaha. We got to Sapporo and stayed with the Odori Elders. One of the Elders there, Mecham E, really likes a lot of the local Provo music I'm into and I felt like he was my long lost brother. He's also way good at the piano. Maybe I found a band mate for after the mission...? Anyway the next morning had a little bit of study with Andersen E and then we headed to the Honbu! We mingled with a bunch of the missionaries there and then went in to meet the beans! Really nostalgic and cool presentation for Evans Kaicho. We also had some more training and way good food. We also got to have our first 1 1/2 hour of dendo in Sapporo around the Honbu! I remembered being impressed by Hansen E (his trainer) then and not knowing what was going on. We were able to get 2 phone numbers and pass a Book of Mormon to a way awesome guy! Morgan E was doing awesome at calling out to people and introducing himself. We'll have lots of work to do on learning Japanese, but he definitely is ready to work towards it! We slept in the honbu and the next morning had a great breakfast then got ready to go to the transfer spot! My first time in 4 transfers. It was way fun to say hi to so many missionaries and get pics with them etc. They were a little slow in bringing the luggage back, so we missed the bus we were originally supposed to go on. Because of that we had more time to hang out w/everyone and shizen dendo a tiny bit in the Eki (train station). Got to eat lunch with Andersen E and talk about stuff a lot. He's definitely one of my best friends I think. I'm way excited for him to be Sr. comp in Hakodate!

We got to ride a train to Kushiro and we were both pretty tired. Showed Morgan E lots of pics and told him a bit about when I went to my bean area. I'm so excited to be able to teach so many awesome things! We ended up sleeping over in Kushiro apt that night after attending their Eikaiwa. The next morning we caught a train at 8 am and arrived in Nemuro! Morgan E was super excited, but still so tired. We had a good planning session telling him about all the investigators etc. here. Then we went to get his bank card and teach Eikaiwa! I had him teach the advanced class and he did great from what I heard! He introduced himself to the members that came and it went great. I don't know how much you heard about him from his parents, but he is from Beaufort, SC. It's a pretty small town on an island! He was valedictorian and student body pres. He also played tennis and did lots of other awesome stuff. Not to mention there are 10 people in his family! He's great though. For real. Saturday was our first real day of dendo! Other than the fact we had no bikes. Haha. We were still able to get a decent amount of housing in and it was fun to introduce him to that. There was also a decent sized matsuri that day, sanma matsuri(refers to a type of famous fish here)and it was way cool. We got some decent shizen done there and got to get on a coast guard boat! I've been wanting to do that since I got here hahaha.

Sunday went awesome too. Morgan E's bike came the night before so that was a very happy thing! Van came to church and we finished teaching her the plan of salvation (almost). She was pretty blown away by people in the spirit world having another chance to receive the gospel/3 degrees of glory. It was a tiny bit tense and she said "that's not what it says in the bible..." but I was able to answer with a testimony about the restoration plus scripture in the bible that talks about 3 degrees of glory. It ended really strong and spiritual and Morgan E tied it up with his way awesome testimony!!! I was way proud of him jumping in on his own right there. I also gave a medium talk on the Atonement. After church Morgan E met with all the members and then we ate lunch before meeting up with Van again. Funny story. Since her job's only day off is Sunday, that's the only day she can shop. We taught her about keeping the sabbath day holy (which she understood in a sec cause it's in the 10 commandments) but it can't really be helped if there's nothing she can do right? She might actually be trying to have one of her friends go to the store for her though. That's how awesome she is. After that, we stopped at this little tiny park by the church to follow up on the Word of Wisdom we mentioned last week because we saw her drink green tea again. We had kind of a deep conversation about it, but I was able to answer her questions with scriptures (mostly Nephi being asked to get the plates from Laban) and it went really well. She pinky promised to keep the word of wisdom and we worked out a deal of buying her a present of the mugi tea that we are ok to drink. After that we went this other investigator named Hebikawa (snake river) who Andersen E and I found a while ago. We were worried since we didn't meet her last week, but I went with Morgan E and it turns out she read like 20 pages in the Book of Mormon! Way awesome. Afterwards we met Ayako S (Okuchi Shimai) and Morgan E shared a scripture he liked. We were both impressed by his good Japanese. Guess what!?!? She is speaking at District conference next week! It'll be just like when Haramai S spoke when I was in Toyohira. I'm way happy and excited and feel super blessed that I get to see it. She is seriously getting stronger and stronger everyday, it's so cool!

Anywho that's pretty much the week! I felt like not a lot happened because there really was SOOO much traveling time. There are a bunch of new little things to do, like having to hear everyone's numbers/other stuff so I have gotten a bit more busy, but I'm excited for the new responsibilities. I feel more and more how real it is that this is the Lord's work. Morgan E is a huge example to me of all the little things I forgot since I haven't been a bean for so long. Looking forward to lots of miracles and I know they're there!

Glad Mara's party went well and sorry I wasn't able to get any good recipes or messages in time for the missionary mom thing. It will probably be a little bit harder than that to get me to go!!! (Mom told him we think we'll have to drag him home physically when it's time to leave Japan) Hahaha but I know that the Lord knows when my time will be done and there are other important things afterwards as well... I hope they don't come too soon though!!!!!! Also I'm super glad that Lily is feeling better :) Have an awesome week and here are some great pics! Thanks for the Pics you sent. Mara is definitely looking like a high schooler. Crazy!

Hutchinson Choro

Coast guard boat with Morgan Choro

Ringing the bell on the boat

First meeting with Morgan Choro, w/Pres. & Sister Evans

Akkeshi on the way to Kushiro

Me and the (still alive) up til now comps (Ishiga E went home!!!)


Sunday, September 15, 2013

9/15/13 Too Many Splits

Hey! So I did get the package! We went to Kushiro on Monday morning for a district activity. And it actually came right after I left! I had to call the post office to get it redelivered, but it was all fine. It was pretty great! I still haven't used any of the deodorant or toothpaste from the last packages you gave me though. I will be fine on that for a pretty long time I think. Maybe even till the end of my mission! Yikes! Also the card is fine. I got the SS# and called the place again. After I put the number in, they asked for my pin and I was like HUH? I don't know it so that's why I'm calling! But before giving up I guessed one more time and it ended up being the right pin... hahaha. Guess it didn't get reset. I'm glad I remembered it though. I used the money to buy bike stuff and the best suit pants ever from uniclo ($20) Other than that we did bowling, ate some all you can eat naan at this sweet Indian curry place, and window shopped. Meh p-day I think, but we made the best of it.

That night I got to go on splits with Yoshikawa E who is on his first transfer... He should be on his 8th or something, holy cow he is such a good missionary!!! I had a WAY good time and learned a ton from him. It also made me really excited to maybe get a bean next transfer. Don't know for sure if I will still, but transfer calls are tonight! I sure would like to stay in Nemuro too... I feel like it's my home a lot of times. Especially since I practically put the house together hahaha. Also that morning in Kushiro the branch pres of Kushiro, Andrus Kaicho, picked us up from the bus stop and gave us breakfast and a tour of his new house!!! He's way cool. Make sure to keep checking my facebook every now and then if it's not too much trouble. I apparently get a bit of friend requests lately. The next day we had district meeting in person!!!! That is something I haven't done for a long time. It was pretty good. I then went on splits with Ishiga E. It was pretty interesting. We went to this far away area in Kushiro called Akan to visit an active member family and find a bit. It was a lot of time on a bus, but I learned a bit about working with members. When we did find though, I was able to be myself so much more than when I actually was with Ishiga E which was cool. He was really surprised at how much I've grown, I think.

The next morning, we had a normal schedule and went to Andrus Kaicho's house again to make breakfast (fajitas... first Mexican food in a long time!) and then ride to the bus. We got back to Nemuro really tired, but were still able to teach 2 way good lessons! One to the guy Nakagawa who we met last week. We made a baptismal date with him and he is looking forward to learning a ton! After that we had to go pick up the zone leaders for splits again and walk home with them from the Eki (train station). I went with Jones E who is from Arizona and a pretty good guy. I am really grateful to be working with Andersen E though. We match up pretty good I think. We did get some really good stuff done though. Our investigator Tatsuya actually listened really seriously to our lesson this time around! We taught L3 and he even asked some really good questions. He has changed and grown so much over time, it's awesome! Still a 22 year old kinda punk guy, but he's the best. He prayed for us out loud at the end of the lesson and also gave us a lot of tips on Japanese etiquette! He said that he wants us to be successful and give people a good image because we're his good friends. That was cool. Also Andersen E and the other ZL Stout E went to Igarashi Shimai who is the non-attending non-speaking/hearing member we went to eat ramen with one time. Stout E got really good at sign language in one of his other areas so it was perfect! According to Andersen E they had a great time and she came to church on Sunday for the first time in almost 10 years! Cool stuff.

Friday and Saturday we were very tired. I think I got a fever, but I worked through it until Sunday night where I fell asleep right when we got home. I feel great now! Friday we got our DKK cranked out somehow and then had Eikaiwa. Nakagawa came to that as well. Some of our students taught me some Hokkaido-only slang which was pretty funny. Saturday we went to Betsukai for the first time in a long time. We couldn't go to the farm, so we did lots of finding, but it was good. We met Kawashima again and she was glad to see us. She said she wants to pray and read the BoM etc again, but her husband is so against it he won't let her. Otherwise she is doing well and hoping for a day that she can hear the gospel again. We are too. On Sunday Van came to church again and it was really good. Instead of teaching gospel principles to a small class like usual, the branch pres wasn't there so Ozawa Kaicho had me teach everyone from the gospel principles book. I didn't prepare for that at all, but it went really good! After church Igarashi Shimai showed up and I tried really hard to remember/learn sign language. At the same time on the second floor the members threw a welcome party for the Okuchi's which was pretty awesome too! Van had to leave right when church got out, but we met her again at 3 and she brought 3 of her friends to talk with us! It was fun and nice to meet them, but kinda hard to keep the conversation focused on the gospel/our purpose etc. I guess that's what you deal with when you meet a group of girls in their 20's, but we:ll prepare more in advance next time... If only we had Vietnamese materials... Their Japanese isn't good enough for the Japanese stuff we have. We were able to teach Van the word of wisdom while walking which was really good though!

After that we met these two WAY awesome guys in their 20s that we found last week. Even though my head really hurt and it was way hot we taught some great lessons on prayer to both of them. I'm really excited to see them more because strong priesthood leaders are the most important thing to get Nemuro branch going!

Anyways, we don't have any big plans for today other than cleaning the apt. and maybe doing something little as an early birthday present to Okuchi Shimai.

Thanks for the snickerdoodle recipe!!! I'd definitely like to send it to Haramai Shimai too :) From what I hear she is doing way awesome! Haven't gotten a reply to the last letter I sent yet, but yeah! PS the candy you gave was well liked! The zone leaders nabbed a bunch while they were here.... but what I was able to save got passed out to a lot of Japanese people that are surprised about how strong the taste is in our candy! hahaha Thanks so much for the CD too! I love it! I'm really excited for the other music if you have a way to send it :) Maybe the best way would be to get the CD's/download online and then put it on an SD card and send that! Just an idea to save you money on postage. It'd also be convenient to me because our dvd players read SD cards, and CDs are tough to move around when transfers come. Whatever you can do will make me happy though!

Love you tons! Even though we've been tired lately with all the moving around, God puts us where we need to be to see the miracles that he is preparing. Remember and apply that in your lives too! Oooh also I was reading the Liahona this morning (probably last month or 2 month ago... We get the magazines way late coz we're missionaries....) a really good article about asking good questions in class that I thought you might like as a Sunday school teacher! I'm grateful to hear about the family and all the awesome stuff that's going on. Cool to see Adam's letters too! Love you and excited to hear from ya next week too!

Hutchinson Choro

Tatsuya and his kid

Okuchi's party

Sunday, September 8, 2013

9/8/13 Snickerdoodles and Vietnamese people

Hey! Good to hear from you and good to hear from Adam as well. He's gonna be a boss. Things have gotten better here and I hope the Dendo fire is helping you all to find ways that you can open your hearts and mouths up to the people around us that need you!
I haven't gotten my SSN from elder Hansen yet... He said he'd call right when he got it, but I guess he never did. I'll ring him now. Thanks for sending the package! Speaking of American candy we have a way awesome investigator named Tatsuya. I think I told you about him before, but he is probably more excited about that package than anyone else! Speaking of which I have more music requests.
Enoch Train - Jazzyish instrumental hymns. Way awesome. Hansen Choro had it
Lamb of God - Like an opera of Christ's life, but way epic. Hansen Choro had it too
RM and Singles ward soundtracks - maybe SOME of the songs are a bit rowdy for missionary life, but I remember there being some WAY good songs that I have been itching to hear ;)
Hope you can find them though! Hope it's not too much trouble as well ;)

Hope Mara has fun at the dance! Did not think she was already going to be 16! whoa! Her birthday is early though huh. Lily looks way sad!!!!!!!!! AH!!! Take good care of her. That sounds tough.

Did you take any pics of the Takara's?!? That's SOO awesome!!! Whoa! Their name means treasure, which is a way cool kanji. I am so excited about missionary work happening in the ward!!!! Be way good to them and strengthen them lots please!!!!!!!!

So the summary of this week issssss
On Monday we had yet again another day of catch-up on journals and letters (AND I ACTUALLY GOT CAUGHT UP!!! YEAH!!!) and we went finding for a bit. Found a really nice mom who got way excited about Eikaiwa. Tuesday we had a great DTM on prayer that opened our eyes a lot on what we need to improve on in helping our investigators understand the importance of prayer! We had a ton of appointments today, but only a few worked out. One was with an awesome guy with a HUGE house. He met missionaries when he was in high school and is 46 now. His family is in Sapporo, but his dad died so he came back to watch the business and house. We weren't able to teach him a lot, but we found out that his b-day was the next day. His family is all away and it seems like he doesn't have a lot of friends in Nemuro, so we brought him a card and some candy and he was WAY happy about it. I think it was a cool way to show him Christlike love. Andersen E's idea actually. We also tried to teach a Jehovah's witness lady who was nice, but they have a way of being really unopen to anything but their own teachings. However it was a neat experience to meet one nice enough to listen to what we had to say! That night it got insanely rainy. We had to miss a few of the appointments we had and stopped at our investigators house (Edo) and were able to play with the kids and teach a bit about the restoration and book of Mormon again. The husband is warming up to us a lot more. It was raining so bad still so the Edo's let us borrow an umbrella to walk home with our bikes. Wednesday was a good day of appointments as well. We visited Tatsuya in the hospital because he had been having stomach issues. Andersen E gave him a picture that he drew of him and his wife and kid that he requested and he was way happy about it.

While there he told us about this amazing cookie he got from a friend who went to America one time... Cinnamon taste... thin... soft. I had no idea what he was talking about. We also shared some scriptures with him and talked to him a lot about prayer. He is kind of a tough guy. He was a sailor, but in an accident got all the fingers but one on his left hand chopped off so he can't work anymore (though he gets TONS of money because of it). But anywho he wasn't very open to gospel stuff at first. This day was different though. He asked questions about the scripture and we also told him about how through trials we become stronger/even though we have trials, when we count our blessings we know we don't really have it that bad. It seemed like his countenance changed and he promised he'd try praying. After that we went to this other area to house and found a way funny cool old guy who somehow convinced Andersen E to teach him golf swing technique. We then taught a short lesson and he was really into it. When we set the next appointment he went over to his calendar and circled the day we wanted to come. We also taught a way cute little family across the street with 3 WAY cute little boys. The mom was really intent on listening and the kids just wanted to tell us about their toys and sunglasses etc.

We met with Van again that night at a nearby elementary school. She has been trying way hard to read the BoM in Japanese and is really thinking about what we are teaching. We also told her about baptism. She was baptized in her church before, but she said when she knows the BoM is true she will get baptized. She gave us a bunch of apples and pocky. Thursday was DKK and then running all over the place to appointments that didn't quite work out. We taught the Okuchi's a ton about the temple and Ayako is really interested in it! Her favorite temple is the Bountiful temple and it's her new phone wallpaper. We also gave them a picture of the Sapporo temple to put up. We gave her a gospel principles book and she has been studying it like crazy. Friday was lots and lots of finding. We were kinda hyper the night before and stayed up late talking so I was really tired, but we repented and I was able to make it through the day just fine! And oh yeah. The cake mix you sent me on my birthday? It has been sitting in the cupboard since then, BUT since I got my journal caught up I actually have time to do things! So I made snickerdoodles using the cake mix (we don't have any cake making supplies and I decided that the microwave cake wasn't my fav) We decided to give them to a bunch of people. Everyone was happy, but especially Tatsuya! Lo and behold they are his favorite cookies that are impossible to find in Japan and even if you find them they are hard and crusty like every other Japanese cookie. He was way happy. Therefore I want the recipe to make them from scratch ;D

Eikaiwa that night went pretty well. Not quite as many people as usual, but still lots of fun. Saturday was a bunch of finding and more being tired because I was trying to get over my staying up hangover... We found a way huge Japanese garden with a giant amazing pond and everything! Also another really cool dollar store. I don't know what I'll do when I get back to America and the dollar stores aren't any good. They are amazing here! We taught a lesson to our 80 year old investigator couple Abe about the doctrine of Christ. He is still having a bit of trouble with actually believing, but is trying hard. Or at least he says that wants to, but that's where it starts! We made a baptismal date with the both of them so that's exciting. Sunday was way cool. Van came to church and we gave her the Vietnamese BoM we ordered and she was SUPER happy to get it. She is getting better at understanding the gospel in Japanese. In gospel principles class I taught about our heavenly family and tied it into the doctrine of Christ. We made a baptismal date with her there too! Woooo! After church we went to meet the other friends, but they were asleep so we talked at the park for a bit. She gave me this cool Vietnamese game. It's like hacky sack, but with a feather on it and this plastic stuff that makes it springy. I forgot to take a good picture, but I'll send one next week! We tried playing with it and all these kids gathered around wanting to play too. They instantly became our best friends and wanting to drag us around everywhere and introduce us to their families etc. We headed home for lunch and Van gave us a ton of apples and juice again. People are too nice! We found some way cool 20ish year old guys (way rare in Nemuro) and one of them plays the guitar! We had a mini jam session. I am so rusty.... Maybe I'll use my new found time to get some practice in for once as long as it doesn't distract me from what's most important!!!

This work is the most important! There are so many miracles! Honestly so many very hard and mindblowing things, but there is always a way for us to get to where we need to be and feel the light of his love. Love you all tons!


Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, September 1, 2013

9/1/13 Surprise visits from kaicho and surprise vietnamese girls coming to church

Glad everything went well with Adam at the airport! I sent him a quick note. As far as my card goes I meant to call the bank about it earlier, but I think I'll be good as far as getting it fixed from here. I remember having to call when I bought my bike because my draw limit was low and they were cool with it. The only thing I'm worried about is that I don't remember my social at all... :s We'll get it figured out though.

Glad the food for Adam's farewell was good too! OH MAN the kitchen looks SICK!!!! Do you have a before picture or two? I'm trying to explain to Andersen E the awesomeness.

Proud of Mara continuing to do awesome being involved in school. Glad the girls are still super cute. I heard from Lauren about Max being awesome on his belly as well. Fun stuff! In the meantime... Japanese kids make me melt. When housing, a lot of times kids come to the door with their parents and they are just the best.

The week was crazy awesome though. Monday we got an email from one of the Vietnamese girls we met saying that she really wanted to go to church even though we weren't able to invite her to church when she first talked to us. P-day was lots of catching up on journals/cleaning etc. We also went out to Sushi with the Okuchis. It's funny because they are picky eaters and won't eat raw fish so it was like reverse! The gaijins were eating all the Japanesey stuff and the Japanese people were eating all the American stuff. Oh man they want to come visit us in America so bad it's crazy. They are getting ok at English and way serious about saving up money to go to Disneyland while paying their tithing. After Sushi we had FHE at the Ozawas and played a fun game kinda like mad libs. Tuesday was a great DTM from Ishiga E and then we headed out to do a bunch of finding.

There is this one mom we met with 3 cute little boys and she is the smiliest person ever. She was really happy about learning about families and prayer and said we can come over anytime we want. The husband was really cool with us the first time we came, but he wasn't home the second time. We end up teaching a lot of people standing in their doorways because of that, but still fun. We got started on Okuchis AB lessons on the temple and told them we want them to have a goal there too (and to prioritize it over Disneyland haha) but they are pretty excited for the temple too. Wednesday was lots and lots of finding and some really good appointments! We actually broke our record for appointments in a week! We made 22. Sweeeet. All week there has been "senkyo" it is like advertisement for elections. Basically the people running for office drive around in vans speaking on microphones REALLY loud telling people to vote for them... It was ridiculous. Thursday we had a good DKK and more great finding. We made lots of plans to have more "Dendo Fire" Basically drive or morale or whatever you want to call it, but it makes everything we do feel more rewarding even if we're not seeing lots of results. Friday was good finding and organizing our records a bit because of the rain. We also had an awesome eikaiwa! Another new lady came with her son. She used to live in Pennsylvania and is pretty fluent. A lot of people didn't come, but I think we'd have well over 20 if everyone did! Saturday was another great day of finding and a great AB lesson with the Okuchis about missionary work! We are excited to have them team up with us in lessons/make friends with our investigators. Sunday the Vietnamese girl actually did come to church! So did Evans Kaicho! (The Mission President) It was a surprise, but a good one. A family from the Kitami branch came (3 people) and sacrament meeting was 28 people!!! Way awesome. The Vietnamese girl is Christian and has a way strong testimony of God and Jesus Christ. She said she felt so peaceful and separated from her problems when she came to our church though. It was tricky to teach everything to her in super simple Japanese, but she was super responsive. Her name is Van. After church she took us to her dorm where she lives and brought out some other friends that are interested in coming to church too!!! Also we found that night and it was crazy how many miracles you see while finding on an empty stomach.

This is such a great work and I LOVE it! I love you guys too and everybody loves seeing your pictures in my book. You are such a great example and light to me! Thanks always!

Hutchinson Choro